Hey folks I know I haven’t been on for a good while. It’s always that kind of way about this thing we call Life. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t kept up on the MGS goodies. At this point those who follow up on MGS news as much as I do probably consumed quite a bit of info in the last few months. Since E3 is coming next week the info has been coming at a steadier pace.
Above you’ll find the most recent Kojima Station Episode, but is the Japanese episode. Usually I don’t post these versions because the English versions follow and I can’t speak a lick of Japanese. That’s actually a terrible excuse not to post them because they seem to be longer and have generally more variety in content as compared to the English episodes done with Sean Eyestone and the rest of the English crew.
Usually Kojima has some high profile guests such as Yoji Shinkawa, who has been the main visual designer of MGS and is the man responsible for the unique and memorable character designs in the Metal Gear universe. I’m pretty sure that the English version of the next Kojima Station will have pretty much the same content, given that E3 is looming near. But since that episode is half a day away from being available I thought I’d expedite the info to you guys.
In this episode of Kojima Station, Hideo talks extensively about the history of the Metal Gear franchise and appropriately bookends the episode with trailers from each and every MG game, starting of course with the MSX original, Metal Gear. He talks all the way up to Ground Zeroes, the most recent MGS outing. He shows some charts cataloging the timeline of release dates for each game. What is also interesting in particular is how Kojima shows the scope/scale/size of TPP when compared to the past MGS titles dating as far back as Metal Gear 1987.
At the bottom of this chart are the colored topographical representations of all the games when overlayed on what TPP will offer the players. As we can see, even MGS4 has nothing over on TPP. Kojima wasn’t kidding when he said The Phantom Pain will be 200-300 times larger than Ground Zeroes!
He also added clips of the various conventions and conferences he’s attended over the past 20+ years. Most notably last year’s GDC 2013 where he finally reveals that Joakim Mogren, the CEO of Moby Dick Studios (the fake game dev company responsible for the first public showing of The Phantom Pain) is really him. Clever Bastard.
At about the 57:00 mark of the 90 minute episode is the real meat of my story. Kojima gives us a sneak peek at what is to be shown at E3 2014 in less than a week.
[Apologies for the photo quality as I took quick screen shots while watching this stream]
The setting seems to be in Afghanistan, after the events of Ground Zeroes. Looks like hiding in trash bins makes a comeback.
Peeking also returns, as well as an added bonus of aiming your weapon at enemies.
Trash bin hiding actually made its debut in MGS4. This was also done contextually.
One of the biggest and most iconic mechanics in gaming to make a comeback: THE CARDBOARD BOX!!!
The BOX seems to have some form of camo printed on the side.
Tagging will also be possible thru the BOX.
A new addition to the wonderful box mechanic: the ability to literally POP out from the top of said BOX and aim your sidearm!
Also worth noting is that, you can’t tell from the pic but, the ZZZ’s above a tranq’ed enemy’s head are now BACK to the traditional Blue color, signifying the status of that specific enemy. In Ground Zeroes the ZZZ’s were Red for some weird reason, which is the same color to signify a typically Lethal weapon has Killed an enemy. This may or may not have caused a bit of confusion at the beginning for some GZ players.
The BOX seems to be a more effective tactic in TPP as this guard doesn’t seem to be aware of its presence, or perhaps it’s just that inconspicuous.
For comparison sake, back in Peace Walker there were multiple types of boxes, from the LOVE BOX, TANK BOX, STUN BOX, and even a ASSASSINS STRAW BOX. The thing that PW let you do in a standard (LOVE) BOX that no other MGS game let you do was actually aim and shoot enemies. Here’s my short low res clip:
I used this method of sneaking quite a bit as it was useful for added stealth.
Once again Snake can POP up from the BOX, but this time can also hold enemies up as well as aim his gun.
Another comparison I’d like to make in terms of BOX mechanics is the versatility of the STRAW BOX featured in Peace Walker. This was a cross promotion between Konami and Ubisoft for Assassin’s Creed. You could swan dive off roof tops into the BOX and add it to your inventory and pull off some sneaky maneuvers as you can see in the clip below:
A neat thing seems to be the added animation of Unequipping the BOX. In past MGS titles once the BOX is unequipped it basically just vanishes out of thin air. At least in this iteration Snake tosses the BOX above himself before it goes POOF. These are the cool little details that make MGS what it is, at least for me.
With all this BOX talk I’m pondering whether or not we will have the ability to also add a second comrade in our BOX as Peace Walker let us awesomely do, or if this will remain a single player deal. I’d lean more towards the latter but I’m up for more surprises.
From the info that Kojima has been putting forth as of late leading up to E3 we should be expecting a lot more in terms of a new trailer and even more gameplay footage. I hope to goodness that Kojima would be merciful enough to grace us with that VERY ELUSIVE release date for The Phantom Pain. Maybe we can all do a sort of Rain Dance except it would be for the TPP release date instead. Till then I’ll be busting out my dance steps!
Here is a clip showing just the TPP gameplay from the same episode.